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Houston Breakthrough, April 1979
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Houston Breakthrough, April 1979 - Page 18. April 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 7, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1324/show/1313.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(April 1979). Houston Breakthrough, April 1979 - Page 18. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1324/show/1313

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, April 1979 - Page 18, April 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 7, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1324/show/1313.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, April 1979
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date April 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
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Title Page 18
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File Name femin_201109_549aq.jpg
Transcript rWuebn Wome/f[alk Akwt £bfe$$ by Judith Richards STRESS: WORK Editor Lee Spratling arrived at work recently 25 minutes late with a fierce headache and a crick in the neck. "The baby was crying, my five-year-old wanted help with his clothes, my husband couldn't find his keys. Then I had to stand in line for my reserved order at the Kolache Shoppe," she says. "I feel rattled, get negative, lack patience and enthusiasm when clients don't pay on time," says freelance artist Maura Noga. "I have trouble breathing," says attorney Chere Lott. It's all part of stress. "You'll have your own symptoms of stress," says Freeda Biggs, who recently led a seminar on working women's stress for the Women's Employment Forum. "You might show physical signs, like nail biting, itching, dry throat when you really want to say, 'Go to Hell!' Or you might react with uncomfortable feelings of disappointment, frustration, anger, helplessness, confusion, guilt." We need stress to do our best. It's the extra adrenalin that adds spark to a speech or a sales pitch. As one woman's mentor put it, "Ahhh, you've got to get to white heat." A few successful women are apparently so used to a high level of stress in their lives that they're not aware of any tension. City Controller Kathryn J. Whitmire, for example, gives the impression that she isn't bothered by the stresses of an intensive political campaign or of an exacting public service job. "It's not a problem I've had to deal with." Most women, however, feel stress— distress. And much of it comes from the job. How is our job stress different from men's? "When there's too great a discrepancy between what you want to be and what you can be, that causes stress," Edelman says. "In this culture, some things are held out to women, but the possibility of fulfilling them is limited." Much of the limitation comes from within us, some think. "Everybody's *W wl/iat y*n <a/\ b^, vvr. •mm*. -tWna* *te V\«-W evck. re W*wew, pvrt w- p©«ibili-b *C-fulfill^ VMA W liwi-H • Some experts believe that practically all illness is stress-related. Counselor Carol Kelleher says, "Two years ago I came down with shingles after two weekends of leading out-of-town workshops. Last year I got myself into an auto accident. That time it was better. I didn't get really hurt or sick. But I realized I wasn't taking care of my needs. When you watch out for yourself, these kinds of things just don't happen." People think of stress as bad; some superachievers think they should eliminate it altogether. In fact, it is neither positive nor negative. "Stress keeps us going," says psychotherapist Miriam Edelman. "It's in our nature. Human beings like to create and solve problems. Successful living is acquiring a more delightful set of problems and better ways to cope." Stress has been likened to the tension of a violin string. Just the right amount allows for beautiful music to be created— too little, and it's impossible to play; too much, and the string snaps. scared, if they'd be honest with themselves," says UH assistant professor Sybil Estess, "but women are more afraid to fail-and to succeed. We haven't been taught much about competition; we've been trained as peacemakers. Until we have the courage to think of an idea, risk, make fools of ourselves, we won't really achieve." Yet recent Census Bureau figures show that female work patterns are rapidly changing, becoming more like those of male workers. And women are subject to stress equally with men. A recent U. S. News story reports that there is more strain on women climbing the corporate ladder. Such women not only have the ordinary pressures of dealing with a demanding job, but also must face the possible burden of people rejecting them. One professional, who asked not to be quoted by name, says that so far her career achievements have not elicited the pat on the back they would have for an equally ambitious male colleague. "The vibes I get," she says, "are 'Who do you think you are?' " Channel 13 TV reporter and anchor Jan Carson fights the stress of daily, newsroom deadlines. "I have to get my story done, read my script, be on the set and appear relaxed by 5 p.m. If I look harried and distracted, it shows in my face," she says. Because she's female, Carson contends with some extra hassle. "It takes me longer to get ready for on-camera work," she says. "Men just don't have to worry so much about make-up and fixing their hair" to accept it as fundamental rule of gaining prestige and power within a business hierarchy. "Once we're in, we can be more human. For my own values, I believe that if we could only express our emotions, it would be healthier. But we can't today. "I've worked on jobs when the men around me were complaining of tightness in their chest and swallowing Maalox like crazy. And all I felt like doing was bursting into tears, which I had to suppress. part # tyt, povJer eliT-e., we. Ins^T© disuse. *ur How does she handle emotions on the job? Carson emphasizes that distress must be expressed appropriately, without games. "I think women tend to play on men's emotions at the same time they expect equal consideration," she says. "That's a double standard we need to get rid of. "It's harder for a woman to confront her boss and say she's really mad because she doesn't want to be labelled a hysterical woman. But it doesn't help to keep it in. You can do it-the right way. Make sure you don't whine or 'poor me.' Act like 'I'm a professional among professionals and I'm not going to take this kind of treatment and here's why.' " Talking personally about job stress holds us back, says film production manager Susan Vogelfang. "Women "It's ironic. It's okay for men to experience this pre-heart attack condition. It's also okay for them to evidence an ulcer or pre-ulcer condition. It's okay to talk about the consequences of suppressing your feelings. But it's not okay to express the strain that contributes to the development of these conditions. Emotions are not appropriate. And by emotions, I don't just mean crying. I mean the other things women do to let out their feelings one way or another." Some specialists say that expressing emotion can lessen strain, that taking time off work for less important physical symptoms like colds, sore throat, or just feeling punk might help allay major illnesses. Studies show that men and women log the same total time off the job, says Kelleher, but women's is for the 2<rt e^MSVie's W ewtifflal* Meanwhik, 4ht men p*in4iVx> - fo firmer *re ha\/<na itai " rMnets v\ -wit dne%4:. 6^, shouldn't admit to job-related stress or trouble dealing with it. Until we're part of the power elite, we have to disguise our emotionalism. We won't be accepted unless we do that. Whether we believe that's the best way to be or not, we have small stuff; men's is for major problems, like heart attacks. "But that's how they get women," says Vogelfang. "They point the finger at us and say, 'She's too emotional. She misses work. She doesn't know how to 18 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH APRIL 1979